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#1 2018-01-31 17:49:28

shaneb99
I Love A.C.E.
From: Strathmore
Registered: 2012-08-28
Posts: 1987

Deep litter and bedding

Last year about this time we had this discussion about choice of bedding. I see on Facebook the same discussion going on right now. Aside from the ACE forum being ahead of the curve I thought it would be interesting to revisit. The consensus seems to be that wood shavings and constant cleaning is what's required to keep ammonia under control and kept the humidity down.

My own experience over the last 5 or 6 years is that the deep litter method solves both of those problems. I use straw. I switched from shavings several years ago partially because of cost but also because I found that pine shavings took a long time to break down. I haven't had an ammonia problem since going this route even during these cold spells where everyone spends a lot of time indoors.


Blue Buff and Silver Laced Brahmas plus too much other stuff to list.

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#2 2018-01-31 17:54:33

countrychicken
A.C.E. Addicted
From: mayfair, sk
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 1055

Re: Deep litter and bedding

I also use the deep litter method w/straw and wood ash.

like it, so do the gardens

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#3 2018-01-31 22:32:27

niglefritz
Moderator
From: western MB
Registered: 2012-02-21
Posts: 1473

Re: Deep litter and bedding

I had ammonia problems with wood shavings. It didn't take long.

I prefer deep litter for the warmth factor as well. We had to move most of our birds out of their usual spaces and they are not doing as well without the preexisting deep litter.


FOCUS: blue JG, copper marans
WTB: silkies, sp. sussex ; Runners: Black, fawn & white hens; Cayuga
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#4 2018-02-01 11:55:56

Journey's End
Moderator
From: PEI
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2195

Re: Deep litter and bedding

I use pine shavings and peat. I like that I can shovel it rather than fork it. I have enough forking with the goats. I mainly use it for the heat value. We don't heat the barn, except for the heat lamp for the barn cats cause I'm a sucker. I only find the ammonia  bad when I'm shovelling it out.


Homesteading, homeschooling, hillbilly mama of three.

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#5 2018-02-01 14:12:24

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5433
Website

Re: Deep litter and bedding

I use cedar shavings and I shovel out when the ammonia gets too intense. I think though that the condition of your building affects how well, or not, deep litter might work, as well as flooring material. We have a 2x6, insulated, vapour barriered  with 2 double pane windows. It's a pretty tight envelope. I think the air flow is NOT conducive to effective deep bedding. Plus the floor is cedar decking and right under the roost (which is boarded off, like a sandbox, to keep the poop under the roost and not flung everywhere) it eventually gets saturated and then the wood floor itself holds the ammonia smell.

Yes, wood chips do take a long time to break down.

Last edited by uno (2018-02-01 14:13:28)

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#6 2018-02-01 17:37:04

OC
Growing Member
From: Ontario
Registered: 2014-08-12
Posts: 39

Re: Deep litter and bedding

I have been using deep litter method for about 10 years now, and it has worked very well with no smell at all.
The base/floor is pea stone, we are on bedrock so no unwelcome visitors from outside.
Every spring all the bedding gets mucked out.
Layer of wood shavings is used thru the warm month, it tends to keep the floor cooler, and in the fall we start adding straw.
An  occasional "fluffing up" this keeps the straw dry and loose thru the winter, since most of night droppings go in the bins under the roosts.
By January there is a good insulation provided by a layer of straw thats about 8 - 10" deep.
Every time a fresh flake is added all the hens love to scratch and check of some goodies were left behind and generally take care of the spreading.
By spring the whole process starts over again. :)

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